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Alternatives/modifications to "lift heavy things"?

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  • Alternatives/modifications to "lift heavy things"?

    I'm new to the primal lifestyle and am still doing my old workout (yoga/occasional jogging), but would like to incorporate more primal movement. Problem: I have a weak back (thanks genetics) and have thrown it out just from lifting 10 lbs the wrong way. My mother has had back surgery previously and my aunt has permanent nerve damage and limps because she lifted something the wrong way. I know there are back strengthening exercises I could do, but does anyone have any suggestions? I know my genes are not necessarily my fate but I would rather not risk losing my mobility. Thanks!
    Last edited by mariemarie; 02-03-2012, 04:36 PM.

  • #2
    I'm curious about this also. I have serious nerve pain every day (and night) from back problems, so I'm been planning on just skipping the "lift heavy things" part of the plan because I simply can't do it.

    I was vaguely hoping that if I lost weight and increased my slow movement those two things might "rehab" my back and I would reassess that part of the plan in the future.
    44 year-old chick, 5'8"-ish, 2/6/12 Start Weight: 189.2
    My boopy stuff: MDA journal | Daily Plate


    • #3
      Have you tried Mark's 5 Essential Movements? Those are all body weight exercises, so you don't have to worry about injuring yourself with lifting until you're sure you've built up your strength. They're in the free Primal Blueprint Fitness book he offers.
      Motherhood: When changing from pj pants to yoga pants qualifies as 'getting dressed'.


      • #4
        Mobility is a use it or lose it scenario. You certainly don't want to injure yourself, but hiding from it is the wrong way to go.

        You may want to check out the book "Healing Back Pain" by John Sarno. I had chronic, crippling back pain in my late teens - early twenties, and the realizations made from that book solved my problem. The pain can coincide with a physical occurrence, but be of mental origin. I was beyond skeptical of that concept beforehand, but it turned out to be legit. I went from babying my back to being pain free every day and deadlifting 300lbs.

        On the physical side of things, you need to start lifting things with perfect form. If your supporting structures are weak then you won't have as much safety margin for errors in form. I'd suggest heading over to MobilityWOD and watch some videos. The search feature is good for narrowing down to what you are looking for. The site is great for gaining a better understanding of good positioning (form), common faults and the implications.

        Good luck!


        • #5
          no alternatives to lifting heavy things. you either lift heavy things or you don't, and if you don't, you live an ugly life.


          • #6
            Check out the Primal Blue Print Fitness and/or Convict Conditioning. They are body-weight work which will help build up your strength.
            Eating primal is not a diet, it is a way of life.
            Don't forget to play!


            • #7
              If you're worried about back strength, one good option is to start your strength training with bodyweight movements (pushup, pullup, squat, etc.) until you're more comfortable with your back. Form is everything.

              Also, for what it's worth, I've experienced a really painful back injury which had me pretty handicapped for a month or so - it happened when I was running in a straight line, on a treadmill. No rhyme or reason. Today I do heavy lifts without any sort of back issues. Take it slow at first, and watch your form.


              • #8
                I am ready to start on the program of lifting now. I can do wall pushups quite well, but my knees and ankles are still too painful (although much stronger from my swimming) to get own any further. Is it OK to kneel on a cushion?

                Pullups - I have been doing these in the pool too - I use the diving block. No trouble getting my chin level with my hands - swimming does promote upper arm strength!

                I have been doing squats in the pool to sort of get knees used to them, and get down to thighs parallel with the ground easily, but am having trouble getting down that far on the wall. Should I just keep on at the pace I am going and try to get a bit further each time?

                Haven't tackled overhead pushups or planks yet - but I am doing a lot of sidestroke with my kickboard and I can really feel it engaging the side muscles Mark points out on the videos.

                Suggestions wlcomd
                F 58 / 170cms / SW 131.5 kgs / Current 112.4/ GW 65
                following Primal Lifestyle and swimming my way to health

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